To address impaired driving and road safety the PEI RCMP formed a new unit in 2020, the Provincial Priority Unit (PPU). In 2022, this small unit proved its worth by arresting 52 impaired drivers, 43 of which were impaired by drugs, 8 impaired by alcohol, and 1 for failure/refusal to provide a sample. The increase in impaired by drug charges is thanks in part to new tools, the Drug Screening Device, Drug Recognition Evaluator training and Standard Field Sobriety Testing training.
The RCMP are actively trying to reduce the number of serious and fatal collisions on PEI. With that in mind, PPU officers conducted many checkpoints, screened thousands of drivers and also issued 2398 Summary Offence Tickets last year.
Some of the skills these officers are trained with include instructors in Breath Testing, Standard Field Sobriety Testing and Drug Recognition Evaluator. With officers specially trained in sobriety testing, the PPU is well equipped to detect and stop people from driving impaired.
The PPU works as a team using proactive, educational, and enforcement initiatives to improve road safety in PEI. The PPU partner with local MADD Canada Chapters, and engage in anti-impaired driving speaking events with schools and organizations.
Thanks to provincial funding, the PPU has been expanded for 2023 and within the first few days of 2023, PPU has already arrested 3 impaired drivers. If you see a suspected impaired driver dial 911, and if possible provide the license plate number, a vehicle description, and the location and direction of travel of the vehicle. Everyone has a part to play in keeping Island roads safe.